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No Congressional GOP Leaders Will Support Reducing Immigration

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As U.S. census data projects that immigration will soon exceed all documented historical records, not one Republican leader in Congress supports the popular step of reducing immigration.

Each year the United States admits one million people with green cards, their dependents and refugees, as well as half a million foreign youths sought by college administrators. Census data projects that, if visas are not slashed or halted, another 14 million immigrant settlers will arrive in the U.S. over the next decade.

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Polls from Fox News and Gallup show that Americans — by a 2-to-1 ratio — want to see visa issuances reduced. A 2012 Pew Poll found that 69 percent of Americans want to place greater restrictions on who was allowed into the United States.

By the millions, federal visas are shipped out to many of the poorest and least-developed countries. As a consequence of this federal visa policy, today one in four Americans is either an immigrant or a child of an immigrant. Entire states, consider California and its 55 electoral votes, no longer elect Republicans. That’s at least partly because so many visas have been used to bring in foreign citizens who support big government.

A recent exposé published by Breitbart News documented that the Commonwealth of Virginia is being transformed by the post-1970 immigration wave, which has put the state firmly in play for even the most progressive politicians. The continued wave of new foreign job competitors has also helped keep prior immigrants and their children poor, making them more likely to depend on government services and less likely to pay income taxes.

Breitbart News reached out to every single Republican leader in Congress to ask if they would be willing to support any reduction at all in the record annual dispensation of new green cards and new foreign worker visas.

The Congressional Republican Leadership is comprised of ten members. In the Senate: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), Conference Chairman John Thune (R-SD), Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY),  and Conference Vice Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MS). In the House: Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Policy Committee Chairman Luke Messer (R-IN).

Not one Republican leadership office was willing to even reply to the question. Every GOP leader’s office refused to answer, to express any support for reduced future immigration, or to offer any thought at all on the subject. It appears that not one of these public servants was even willing to engage on the issue of historic immigration transforming the electorate, school systems, and labor markets.

Because the visa dispensations are automatic, the record-breaking volume of immigration will continue ceaselessly as long as Congressional leadership refuses to call forward legislation to cut back on the green cards or corporate work permits.

A review of public comments and records reveals why Republican leaders will not publicly support any immigration reduction. The current crop of Republican leaders—the public face and private decision-makers for the entire Republican Party— have argued for substantial increases to the historic intake of new immigrant labor—a policy which would cause the United States to surpass immigration records with even greater force and rapidity.

In the Senate, for instance, while Senate Republican leaders gently and quietly opposed Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) unpopular immigration bill once it was assured of Senate passage, they grounded their statements of opposition in vague criticisms of border security. Public comments suggest they were supportive of Sen. Rubio’s effort to drastically expand the total level of immigration into the United States. The Schumer-Rubio plan would have handed out more than 30 million green cards to immigrants primarily from countries with little to no history of Western institutions, but Sen. John Barasso (R-WY) praised Rubio’s efforts to expand the labor supply in this way:

I’m [a] child of immigrants. That is the history of this country. Immigration is good and important for our country. Legal immigration needs to really be modernized. Marco Rubio is working on that… We need additional labor.

Barrasso’s state of Wyoming has a population of about half a million people. Ironically, if just 1 million of Rubio’s 30 million green card recipients had moved to Wyoming — instead of more likely destinations in eastern states such as Georgia and Virginia— Wyoming could suddenly, almost overnight, have the same politics as California.

Generations of rural traditions passed down from parents to children would be electorally crowded out by the new traditions of new arrivals. Barasso never explained why he thinks adding millions of laborers from mostly poor countries would improve schools, hospitals, or job markets in states like his own, or why it would be “important for our country” to resettle millions of immigrants with green cards from non-Western countries.

Similarly, Majority Leader McConnell indicated that he supports many of the open immigration policies in the Gang of Eight plan. Last year, at an event hosted by The Wall Street Journal CEO council, McConnell said, “What I think we ought to do is bust [the Senate Gang of Eight bill] up, [and] pass as much of it as we can.” Specifically, McConnell suggested that Congress begin by passing portions of the bill upon which there would be “pretty broad agreement” such as, “H-1B visa expansion and H-2A worker provisions.”

The H-1B visa is a visa popular with corporations that allows companies to replace Americans tech workers with foreign workers who’ll accept lower salaries. This recently happened at Disney, Southern California Edison, and Fossil Inc.

Today, as Rutgers professor Hal Salzman has documented, “Guestworkers currently make up two-thirds of all new IT hires.” In Senate testimony, when asked how the labor market would be affected if either Rubio’s Gang of Eight bill, Rubio’s new I-Squared bill, or Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s H-1B bill were enacted, Salzman replied that they “would provide enough guest workers to fill 100 percent of [IT] jobs.”

The H-1B visa also presents a pipeline for workers from Muslim countries to enter the United States in larger numbers.

Majority Whip Sen. Cornyn supports efforts to flood the market with these foreign workers as well; on Cornyn’s campaign website he declares: “We must expand the number of visas we provide to include both those with advanced degrees in STEM-related fields, as well those working in labor-intensive industries like construction.”

Another Republican leader, Conference Chairman John Thune (R-SD)— the man responsible for setting the message of Senate Republicans— slammed Governor Scott Walker for Walker’s popular declaration, “The next president and the next congress need to make decisions about a legal immigration system that’s based on, first and foremost, on protecting American workers and American wages… what [is our immigration policy] doing for American workers looking for jobs? What is this doing to wages? We need to have that be at the forefront of our discussion going forward.”

The Republican messenger-in-chief, John Thune, grounded his criticism of Governor Walkers’ blue-collar pledge by voicing what Thune said were the concerns of CEOs: “I think if you talk to businesses in this country, they need workers… We have a workforce issue in this country… so having a robust legal immigration process helps us fill jobs that otherwise wouldn’t be getting filled.”

What Sen. Thune refers to as a “robust legal immigration process” is what in many other countries would simply call mass immigration. It is unclear why Sen. Thune believes companies can’t hire Americans given that, as reported by the Center for Immigration Studies, there are more than 50 million working-age U.S.-born Americans currently without jobs.

Thune’s statement is also deeply unpopular, suggesting he is using his leadership position not to so much to deliver policies voters want, but to assist corporations who donate to the party. A poll from Kellyanne Conway found that a plurality of Americans would like to see an immigration pause reminiscent of President Coolidge’s immigration caps in 1924. Minorities living in the United States have had enough immigration as well. Hispanic voters by greater than a 6:1 ratio and black voters by nearly a 30:1 ratio believe that jobs should go to those already living inside the United States instead of importing new workers from foreign countries.

In the House, Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers co-authored the Republican House principles on immigration, which would have substantially increased future immigration to the United States.

The document read in part: “When visas aren’t available, we end up exporting this labor and ingenuity to other countries. Visa and green card allocations need to reflect the needs of employers… The goal of any temporary worker program should be to address the economic needs of the country.”

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy also appears to be supportive of increasing the number of H-1B workers provided to the world’s wealthiest corporations.

Politico reported Kevin McCarthy “has made frequent pilgrimages to Silicon Valley [and] befriended prominent tech players.” The article explains that the tech industry “is counting on those ties as it carves out a more entrenched role in Washington… Immigration, tech’s policy baby, still remains a tough sell… [but] the Californian [McCarthy] has backed a bill that would provide legal status to young undocumented immigrants who serve in the military [and he’s] spoken up in favor of high-skilled immigration.”

As Breitbart News previously reported:

“Silicon Valley never looks for somebody who is going to agree with us 100 percent of the time,” a CEO of a Silicon Valley industry lobbying group told Politico. “But we want someone who is willing to listen to us 100 percent of the time. And Kevin McCarthy does this.”

Yet perhaps no one better exemplifies the expansive influence of Silicon Valley lobbyists on Capitol Hill than Cathy McMorris Rodgers. McMorris Rodgers is Thune’s counterpart in the House and runs the messaging operation for the entire House Republican Conference.

While former-Congressman and immigration-booster Aaron Schock (R-IL) decorated his office to look like Downton Abbey, a visit to McMorris Rodgers’ House Republican Conference creates the distinct impression that it was modeled after Google— each room painted a different vibrant color, chalkboard walls filled with the doodles of mid-twenty year old staffers, and weekly caucus-wide polls conducted to determine such important issues as Republican staffers’ “favorite cupcake shop” in the city.

McMorris Rodgers’ GOP Conference Communications Director recently left to go work at Google, whose CEO Eric Schmidt, as Washington Examiner columnist Byron York noted, “has long advocated increasing the number of so-called H-1B visas, which allow those workers to come to the U.S. for several years and, in many cases, work for lower wages than current employees.” In an announcement email sent to Republican staff with the subject line, “A Googley Goodbye,” McMorris Rodgers’ former communications director wrote: “After five years on Capitol Hill, I’m taking my big hair and exclamation points to Google’s global communications and public affairs team!”

In a 2012 press conference with then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor, McMorris Rogers discussed the needs of big tech firms after passing legislation that would make it easier for some of them to hire foreign labor:

One of those companies [who will benefit from this bill] is Microsoft, located in Washington State that I happen to represent, and when I talk to Microsoft and many innovative companies they say we need those employees that have the training, the education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

As Breitbart News reported last year, “A week after former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates argued for amnesty and for an unlimited number of high-tech guest-worker visas, Microsoft announced it would slash 18,000 jobs.”

Breitbart News also reported in April of 2014:

On the day that Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers told a local newspaper that she believed amnesty legislation could be brought to the floor by August, she met with Satya Nadella, the new CEO of Microsoft.

“I believe there is a path that we get a bill on the floor by August,” House GOP Conference Chair McMorris Rodgers said last Friday. “We’re going to have to push that this is a legal status, not amnesty.”

In an interview with ReasonTV that same month, McMorris Rodgers expressed support for an open door immigration policy that would allow any corporation to hire any foreign worker it wants. McMorris Rodgers said, “We need to fix what is a broken immigration system, and those that want to come here for the short or long term can do so.”

Last year, McMorris Rodgers told KUMA-News, “There’s certainly been a broad coalition between the agriculture community, the faith-based community and the technology and other employers who need skilled workers… I’m hopeful that, over the next few months, you’re going to start seeing more of these bills move through the process.” The “skilled workers” McMorris Rodgers is referring to here are currently living in other countries.

Perhaps McMorris Rodgers’ desire for more foreign labor explains why the House Republican Conference has failed to message immigration.

As described by Congressional aides who spoke with Breitbart News, while Republicans had an aggressive nationwide push to pass Obamatrade, they have never had a similar media nationwide campaign to protect their constituents from unpopular, uncontrolled immigration: not on sanctuary cities, not on H-1B abuses, not on executive amnesty, etc.

One GOP aide said: “Republican leaders will not, I repeat, will not ever message on how immigration is hurting American workers because they support and want their business buddies to get more foreign workers.”

A second aide told Breitbart News, “I’ve received several press releases from Cathy McMorris’ Rodger’s office in Spanish, but I have never received a single release messaging on immigration’s impact. Even at the height of the DHS fight, I do not recall seeing a single internal email from Conference about how best our office should message on it.”

Members of Congress’ websites usually have a tab for issues where constituents can learn more about their position on each issue. A review of Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ website, however, could find no such tab for the immigration issue. Her website does outline her policy platforms on issues such as Education, Health Care, Taxes, and Technology. While Rodgers does not have educational material on her position on immigration, she does have a Spanish option for her website.

In late-2013, McMorris Rogers told Univision’s Ricardo Arambarri, “We must pass immigration reform. It’s a priority for Republicans, for Democrats.” In Washington leader-speak “immigration reform” means amnesty combined with more foreign workers on visas for big businesses.

McMorris Rodgers continued, “So I’m hopeful that we can pass immigration reform. We can get it right. And that is my priority between now and as long as it takes.”

Indeed, Congressional sources informed this reporter that just last month at a Republican Conference retreat for communications and legislative staffers, senior staff for McMorris’ Rodgers’ Republican Conference informed the group that so-called “immigration reform” was still an important legislative agenda item for the Republican Party.

Again: one can safely assume that “immigration reform” in this context does not mean the pause on future immigration supported by a plurality of Americans.


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